The New York Yankees were fortunate enough to witness a transformation from one of their young players. Clint Frazier took a new approach, revamped his swing, took more walks, got on base at a higher clip, and even improved his defense to the point that he was considered a Gold Glove finalist.
The Yankees’ outfielder slashed .267/.394/.511 and improved his wRC+ from 108 in 2019 to 149 in 2020. He also upped his BB% from 6.5 to 15.6. With work, he experienced some clear skill gains, so why would he change what isn’t broken?
“I’m not making any changes this offseason,” Frazier said on the MLB Network on Monday. “I’m just trying to familiarize myself with that movement more going forward and mash.”
The Yankees would love to see him thrive in 2021
To explain the changes he made to his batting stance, he points the back of his left foot toward the pitcher, placing his hips about as far as they can go before he swings them toward the pitch explosively. He calls that sequence “pre-setting my hip.”
“At times I always felt like I was trying to swing but my swing was on safety, and there were things that were preventing me from moving forward the way that I wanted to,” he said.
The objective of the changes was to “limit the amount of movement” the Yankees’ young slugger had at the plate. It also “makes me feel like I have way more time in general. … I definitely feel like it helped me use right field with more intent,” he said.
The Yankees are now confident entering the season with Frazier as their starting left fielder, joining center fielder Aaron Hicks and right fielder Aaron Judge. Now, they know Frazier is capable of offering above-average production both offensively and defensively.
With a relatively normal schedule in 2021, Frazier will be looking to consolidate himself as a star for the New York Yankees.